Soldiers protect southern border from drugs

Drug trafficking around Vietnam's borders has become more complicated as the country has become a transit hub for traffickers.

Soldiers at the Vĩnh Xương International Border Gate on An Giang Province patrol a border route. 

Lieutenant Colonel Vũ Trọng Tuệ still remembers one of his first investigations into drug trafficking as a member of the Southern Border Guard Soldiers’ Department of Drug and Crime Prevention.

It was almost 10 years ago when the Southern Border Guard Soldiers team learned some traffickers planned to transport drugs in a seven-seat car and decided to chase after the criminals, after two prior failed attempts to apprehend the group.

In April 2010, in Ninh Thuận Province the traffickers realised they were being followed and suddenly changed direction towards Phan Rang City.

No matter how crowded National Highway No 1 was, the traffickers drove very fast, sometimes at 100km per hour and shot at the soldiers, Lieutenant Colonel Tuệ recalled.

The criminals drove for 30km and abandoned the car when encountering a road without an exit in Bảo An Ward, Phan Rang.

It was not until 1pm the next day that the soldiers found where the traffickers were hiding, arrested them and seized 20 bricks of heroin. Two police officers and one sniffer dog were injured in the firefight with the criminals.

For Lieutenant Colonel Tuệ and his colleagues, the case coded 909C was a difficult one as the team had failed to catch the traffickers on their first two attempts.

No matter how difficult it was, the team did not give up; they never do.

Colonel Nguyễn Trường Thọ, investigation assistant of the team, said case 909C taught soldiers lessons on selecting the right time to attempt to strike, preparation and working with other units.

Hot spots of drug trafficking

Drug trafficking around Việt Nam's borders has become more complicated as the country has become a transit hub for traffickers.

According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 80 per cent of drugs brought into Việt Nam are bound for another country.

Border guard soldiers in the south have to be vigilant at all times to protect the border from local and foreign drug traffickers.

The number of drug trafficking cases at the end of 2018 and in the first months of 2019 in southern localities has reportedly risen, especially after northern and central localities stepped up a crackdown on drug traffickers.

More and more drug traffickers have fled to the south and Cambodia to produce synthetic drugs, set up drug trafficking rings and transport drugs from Cambodia to Việt Nam for local consumption or to ship elsewhere.

Forty provinces and cities in the south share more than 1,100km border with Cambodia and have nearly 50 international borders. 

That makes the fight against drug trafficking tough for southern border guard soldiers.

 

According to the Southern Border Guard Soldiers’ Department of Drug and Crime Prevention, in the first six months of this year, border guard soldiers nationwide tackled 482 drug-related cases involving 746 criminals and seized more than 2.1 kg of drugs. The number of cases increased by 142 per cent compared to the same period last year.

On the Việt Nam-Cambodia border, 60 people were arrested in 32 cases, with more than 129kg of drugs of different types seized.

Major General Nguyễn Hoài Phương, deputy commander of the Southern Border Guard Soldiers, said drug trafficking was predicted to get more complicated with more hot spots in the south.

Cities, big trade centres and transport links between Cambodia and Vietnamese southern provinces facilitate large numbers of people and goods crossing the border.

This had become a big challenge for border authorities, he said.

The Southern Border Guard Soldiers’ Department of Drug and Crime Prevention is a leading agency in the fight against drug trafficking in the south.

Colonel Nguyễn Trọng Việt, deputy head of the department, said drug traffickers were dangerous and had experience of fleeing authorities, and some were even armed.

“The investigation is complicated and requires soldiers to spend time and effort. With professional skills, the border guard soldiers must be careful and follow laws because drug trafficking cases across borders involve foreign factors,” he said.

After identifying suspects, the soldiers report to the department and start an investigation if approved. The soldiers work with agencies to probe how drugs are transported, set up plans and select the right time to catch the traffickers.

Over the past 10 years, the team has tackled about 200 cases, arresting more than 400 criminals and seizing drugs and other exhibits including petrol, natural resources, guns and explosives.

On May 24, 2018, the team worked with HCM City’s police to arrest 10 drug traffickers and seized 39 bricks of heroin, 26kg of meth and more than 100,000 synthetic drug tablets.

In March this year, the team worked with police and customs to arrest 11 traffickers transporting 300kg of meth and expanded investigation to seize 276kg of meth to be transported to a third country.

The fight against drug traffickers is never easy and many soldiers have shed blood in the battle. Since the team was established in 2009, six soldiers have died on duty and hundreds of others have been injured.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Nghiêm Nam Phong, deputy head of the department’s investigation group No1, the soldiers need to be not only determined and brave but also creative. The most dangerous time is when the investigators secretly follow the traffickers and wait for an opportunity to arrest them.

“They need to be not only skilful at their professional skills but also brave enough to overcome challenges and not succumb to temptations such as bribes from the criminals.” VNS

Soldiers arrest a trafficker and drugs in May 2019. 

 
 

Other News

.
Hanoi supports sales of agro-products from Covid-19 hotspots
Hanoi supports sales of agro-products from Covid-19 hotspots
SOCIETYicon  22/02/2021 

The trade ministry has urged provincial authorities across the country to boost the circulation of essential goods and the consumption of agricultural products in the context of the impact of Covid-19.

Stunning wild pear flowers in Hanoi streets
Stunning wild pear flowers in Hanoi streets
SOCIETYicon  22/02/2021 

Late-February to early-March is the best time of year to observe the vibrant wildflower of pear in some streets in the capital city.

Vietnam ranked second for successfully handling coronavirus pandemic
Vietnam ranked second for successfully handling coronavirus pandemic
VIETNAM & WORLDicon  22/02/2021 

Vietnam has done a good job in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic, according to US magazine Business Insider citing Australian think-tank The Lowy Institute’s recently-published Index.

Vietnam's aims to have 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine
Vietnam's aims to have 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine
FEATUREicon  22/02/2021 

While negotiating with foreign vaccine providers, Vietnam will accelerate vaccine purchases to ensure that all people have access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Opening of first metro line in HCM City delayed to 2022
Opening of first metro line in HCM City delayed to 2022
SOCIETYicon  22/02/2021 

The opening of the first metro line in HCM City, which runs between Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in District 9, will be delayed until 2022, city authorities have said.

Pandemic turns Hai Duong farm produce into waste
Pandemic turns Hai Duong farm produce into waste
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

People in the northern province of Hai Duong are calling for help as their farm produce distribution networks have been disrupted since social distancing was imposed in the locality.

A Vietnamese man with huge love for Russia
A Vietnamese man with huge love for Russia
VIETNAM & WORLDicon  22/02/2021 

Duong Chi Kien, chairman of Golden Age Group, received the "Golden Lion" award from the Committee for External Relations of St. Petersburg

21 new COVID-19 patients reported over the weekend
21 new COVID-19 patients reported over the weekend
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

A total of 21 new locally-transmitted COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend, including 15 on Sunday.

HCM City sends medical workers to coronavirus hotspot
HCM City sends medical workers to coronavirus hotspot
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City dispatched its medical quick-response team and much needed equipment to Hai Duong Province, the epicentre of the latest COVIDID-19 outbreak, early on Saturday.

Saigon's broiled snakehead fish street busy on God of Wealth Day
Saigon's broiled snakehead fish street busy on God of Wealth Day
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

Stalls selling grilled fish on Tan Ky - Tan Quy Street in HCM City have prepared tons of broiled snakehead fish for the God of Wealth Day (10th day of the lunar year), which falls on February 21 this year.

Vietnam reports no new COVID-19 cases on early February 21
Vietnam reports no new COVID-19 cases on early February 21
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

Vietnam has no new COVID-19 cases to report in the past 12 hours to 6am of February 21, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

HCMC gathers forces to participate in Covid-19 prevention
HCMC gathers forces to participate in Covid-19 prevention
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

HCM City Vice Mayor Duong Anh Duc has just sent a dispatch to the heads of departments, divisions, and industries, the Chairman of the People's Committee of Thu Duc City, and districts on strengthening measures to prevent Covid-19.

VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES FEB. 20
VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES FEB. 20
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

 Aviation staff to be tested for SARS-CoV-2 frequently: CAAV

Second phase of Nano Covax human trials to begin this month
Second phase of Nano Covax human trials to begin this month
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

The second phase of the human trials of Nano Covax, a homegrown COVID-19 vaccine, will begin on February 26, following the first phase that has been proven safe.

Additional 15 COVID-19 infections recorded in Hai Duong on February 19
Additional 15 COVID-19 infections recorded in Hai Duong on February 19
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

The northern province of Hai Duong – Vietnam’s current largest pandemic epicenter – reported 15 new COVID-19 cases on February 19, raising the country’s tally to 2,362.

Farmers’ pain: tons of vegetables rot in fields
Farmers’ pain: tons of vegetables rot in fields
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

Different from previous years, the prices for vegetables after the Lunar New Year (Tet) have fallen due to the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and quick growth because of good weather.

Ha Giang seeks new airport
Ha Giang seeks new airport
SOCIETYicon  21/02/2021 

The northern mountainous province of Ha Giang has just asked the Ministry of Transport to add the construction of an airport to the master plan on Vietnam’s airport system in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050.

Vietnam aviation authorities propose closing Van Don airport until March 3
Vietnam aviation authorities propose closing Van Don airport until March 3
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, the Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed closing the Van Don International Airport in Quang Ninh province until March 3.

Four nCoV strains found in Vietnam
Four nCoV strains found in Vietnam
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

Vietnam has discovered four strains of SARS-CoV-2, including one found in the UK which is more contagious.

Vietnam needs 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021
Vietnam needs 150 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 2021
SOCIETYicon  20/02/2021 

Vietnam has negotiated to buy 60 million doses of vaccines and needs an additional 90 million doses, said Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long at a meeting on February 19.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN